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Gillingham 2 Wycombe Wanderers 0: Bournemouth loanee Mikael Ndjoli strikes twice to down League 1 leaders

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Mikael Ndjoli struck twice as Gillingham inflicted Wycombe’s first league defeat of the season.

Ndjoli put the Gills ahead just before the hour mark, with a goal made by freshly introduced substitute Brandon Hanlan, and doubled the lead from the penalty spot.

Mikael Ndjoli celebrates scoring the opening goal with Olly Lee Picture: Ady Kerry (16611331)
Mikael Ndjoli celebrates scoring the opening goal with Olly Lee Picture: Ady Kerry (16611331)

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His second half brace was enough to clinch maximum points for Steve Evans’ side, against a side who started the day top of League 1.

Gillingham boss Steve Evans made two changes to his starting XI. A virus in the camp led to both Ben Pringle and Alex Jakubiak dropping to the bench but their replacements had fully justified their selection.

Mark Marshall had tormented a young Watford team in midweek and Mikael Ndjoli helped himself to three goals in that game, one of them supplied by the winger.

It meant a change of formation for the Gills, to 4-4-2. Visitors Wycombe started the afternoon top of League 1 but had drawn all three of their matches away from home.

Wycombe had the better of a stop-start opening half which was littered with stoppages.

There were Some strong challenges being made by the Gills. Barry Fuller and Mark Marshall both left their mark on Joe Jacobson but Alex Samuel lasted less than half an hour, withdrawing after less than half an hour after a clash with Fuller.

Mikael Ndjoli scores from the penalty spot to make it 2-0 Picture: Ady Kerry (16611329)
Mikael Ndjoli scores from the penalty spot to make it 2-0 Picture: Ady Kerry (16611329)

Gills keeper Jack Bonham had to make a couple of timely stops, saving well to deny Anthony Stewart from close range and also Nick Freeman, either side of Samuel’s poked effort that went wide before his injury.

Defender Max Ehmer had Gills’ best chance of the opening half. He met Olly Lee’s free kick at the back post but couldn’t get the better of keeper Ryan Allsop. The hosts had wanted more than a free-kick, awarded after Mikael Ndjoli had been fouled on the edge of the box, but referee James Adcock declined to award the penalty.

Early second half chances were in short supply. Gills were keen to add to their solitary effort on target in the opening 45. Freeman hit a low speculative effort at goal for Wycombe but it was never going to trouble Bonham. His next effort was closer to the corner flag than the goal.

Gillingham were beginning to put some pressure on the Wycombe goal and the introduction of Hanlan helped break the deadlock. His direct running led to a cross for Ndjoli and he fired home the opener in the 59th minute.

Ndjoli - who hadn’t netted a league goal in England before the weekend - scored his second from the penalty spot 15 minutes later. Lee was fouled in the box and the spot-kick was confidently dispatched past keeper Allsop to give Gills breathing space in the match.

Gillingham: Bonham, Fuller, Ogilvie, Ehmer, O'Connor, Lee (Pringle 77mins), Jones, Byrne, Marshall, Mandron (Hanlan 58mins), Ndjoli (O'Keefe 90mins). Subs not used: Walsh, Hodson, Tucker, Jakubiak.

Wycombe: Allsop, Grimmer (Grimmer 70mins), Stewart, Charles, Jacobson (Wheeler 70mins), Gape, Ofoborh, Pattison, Freeman, Akinfenwa, Samuel (Kashket 29mins). Subs not used: Yates, Mascoll, Thompson, Parker.


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